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I'm having trouble getting decals to stick on action figures. Decals can be a decent alternative to painting, as they take much less skill to apply.

But I find certain edges or corners won't stay put, possibly from touching oils on my fingers, first.

How can I get those stubborn decals to stay? Is there a liquid or adhesive that would work?

The decals are foil-based, so they're essentially waterproof, if that matters.

  • So you would intend these to be permanent then? Don't suppose you have a picture? The applied surface area is not expected to be flat then? How large would these decals be? – Matt May 18 '17 at 13:29
  • What sort of finish do the decals / action figures have? If it doesn't mess up the look, maybe you could put a coat of something over the decal (e.g. clear nail polish). – user812786 May 18 '17 at 16:17
  • Permanent, yes. Not always flat, no, often slightly curved or even over an angle. The decals are printed on foil so a glossy finish? But I'd prefer nothing to have to go on exposed plastic. – user24 May 18 '17 at 16:29
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In my scale modelling, I use Microscale Industries' Micro Set and Micro Sol which works great for clear decals. These products increase the adhesion and slightly dissolve the decals which allows them to conform to curved surfaces better. Once they are dry, I sand any visible decal edges very lightly with a 600 or 1200 grit sponge. Finally, I repeatedly cover the whole model with light coats of an acrylic clear coat, building the coating up until the decal edges disappear.

I'm not sure if the Microscale chemicals will work with foil based decals, but the edge sanding and clear coat should help them stay where you put them.

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